August the fourteenth 2000: Another trip to Blighty the jpoc journal

The main news this week surrounds my trip to England. The prime reason for this was my youngest son's birthday. I flew in on Friday via Schiphol and Saturday was a day for playing hunt the birthday pressie. Of course, it will be no surprise to anyone with a son, of just about ay age, that something for the playstation was on the agenda and that was what we bought. There was another sub-agenda type reason for the trip. I have been planning a return to the UK for some while and I had to make some arrangements for that process.

The most significant aspect this weekend was the purchase of a UK registered car. I expect that you will soon be able to read all about that in the "jpoc's cars" section of my motoring pages but the quick precis is that I relieved a friend of an old Honda Accord. My hope was that it would do for the drive to Germany and then back with Maria and Andrei plus a load of luggage.

As another part of that process, I brought a couple of cases full of clothes with me to England and left them in Cambridge. That way, there would be less for me to bring when we finally returned en familial to England.

Of course, having bought the car, I had to drive it to Germany. For some odd reason, my bank account linked visa debit card stopped working. It was most certainly not because of insufficient funds and I suspect that I had triggered some cursed computer driven anti-fraud system by going on a splurge for video games and CDs when the card is normally used in Germany only. Well, I had to beg lots of favours to borrow some cash to buy a ferry ticket back to the continent but in the end, all was well. I travelled with Hoverspeed because I hoped to get one last go on the hovercraft but in the end we were on the Seacat. I've not been on the Seacat for about seven years so it was interesting to see again. The crossing was OK and the drive back was no problem. I arrived on Sunday morning after a late evening crossing on the Saturday and a drive through the night with occasional stops for a kip.

The old Honda did the job despite it's age. The radio is duff and the cassette packed up somewhere after we passed Lille and the fuel tank weeps a little if filled to the brim but I can live with stuff like that. The economy is OK and, while the roadholding limits are lower than the current standards, the ride and handling put many modern cars to shame.

I had a big disappointment from tripod. The combination of my talents and your loyalty had dragged my "page views per month" figures up to the level at which I could actually get paid some cash for the advertising income from my site but, just as I achieved that, tripod decided to say that non US residents could not join the programme. Hmmmm, suspicious or what? I set about making other plans!

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